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  • D.J. Richardson

Close Encounter - Chitabe, Botswana


This “Close Encounter” happened in the middle of a palm grove as my guide was driving along the narrow path towards camp. This elephant had just shaken a palm tree free of many of its palm nuts, and was determined to not budge until he (I think the guide said it was a “he”) had picked up every one with his trunk and eaten them. There was a slight moment of concern when he stood facing the jeep directly in front of us, but it led to some wonderful pictures. Then, with the first batch of palm nuts consumed, he turned back to the tree, rose up on his hind legs, and threw his body against the tree over and over, shaking it like a twig, and sending another supply of palm nuts to the ground below. Again, he refused to budge out of our way until he had eaten every one of them.


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